June 17, 2013

The Gulf-Maghreb: Marginalizing Egypt and Empowering Militarism

This is the illustration made by Gulf News for Sultan's column;
notice out how Western-looking the Algerian dude is. yeah.
A week ago, UAE's commentator Sultan al-Qassemi wrote a column for Gulf News about the continuous cooperation between his country and Algeria. He illustrated several points in his article: 
1) UAE is more invested in Algeria now for being in complete conflict with the Brotherhood ruling of Egypt
2) Algeria's economy continues to grow 
3) Algeria has the largest military budget in Africa 
4) Algeria kicked the Islamists' asses. 
5) Algeria will be better soon if a [young man] gets elected democratically
As some of you might have noticed, the column is bombarded with a problematic set of ideas, however, they tell us much about the Gulf's standing towards the Maghreb region. Following the Arab uprisings and the rapid changes the Arab world is going through (especially when it comes to the political power of Ikhwan, interior dissent, and foreign policies), Gulf regimes looked for the Maghreb region as their alternative answer considering the long history of the Western-backed military dictatorships of the Maghreb.